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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10849/witness-the-freest-economy-the-internet/

Witness the Freest Economy: the Internet

October 16, 2009 by

On the internet, the beautiful aspects of human nature manifest themselves, and we see individuals and companies maximizing their talents and resources for reasons of profit, pleasure, altruism, and progress. FULL ARTICLE by Dan O’Connor

{ 14 comments }

K Ackermann October 16, 2009 at 9:16 am

So far, regulations have slapped down the attempts of private enterprise to restrict the flow of information and content. Companies are working to undo those regulations.

Actually, some ISP’s still perform deep packet inspection, and throttle some content.

Cell phone application space is anything but open.

Now we will see what the government does. We know it loves our data. It’s sucking up everything that we do.

There is a natural protection of copyrights built right into the Internet. Two entities cannot have google.com It can only be physically routed to one.

Mac October 16, 2009 at 10:11 am

It remains to be seen whether the Internet will stay this way. At least, we’ll have this article to look back and say how it was or could have stayed.

Cheers

BioTube October 16, 2009 at 11:43 am

Ackermann, most people agree to DPI and throttling in the service contracts they never read. As for your claim of inherent copyright, that’s not true: I can easily set things up so that “google.com” goes to Yahoo on my computer(and there’s no technical reason why the nameservers you use have to point your browser to Google’s website).

Shay October 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm

“There is a natural protection of copyrights built right into the Internet. Two entities cannot have google.com It can only be physically routed to one.”

This has little or nothing to do with copyright law. Trademark law is probably what you’re thinking of.

RTRebel October 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

When I hear people complain that kids and young adults spend too much time on the cell phone or the internet, I always laugh a little bit.

They think its a problem, but I think people naturally move toward bastions of freedom and so I cheer that trend. It proves these bastions of freedom are more valuable than any (relatively) more command-control areas of life, which makes the statists go crazy (and that also makes me smile)

(8?» October 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm

RTRebel says “…which makes the statists go crazy “

That’s redundant!

Not to mention, it implies a cause and effect that is the exact opposite of my own observations.

cocoy October 16, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Well the thing is, there *is* a government on the Internet. It is the Internet Engineering Task Force. Their goal is to make the Internet to be a better place. The core ethos of the IETF, which I think embodies what the Internet is can be summed up in two quotes from IETF members:

1. David Clark: “We reject kings, presidents and voting. We believe in rough consensus and running code”.

What’s the dominant view? That’s rough consensus.

2. Jon Postel: “Be conservative in what you send and liberal in what you accept”.

I believe it is good to remember this especially when dealing with trolls also in accepting that in some parts of the Internet or when sending email to a boss, a colleague or even an Instant Message.

Capitalist October 17, 2009 at 5:10 am

On the internet, the beautiful aspects of human nature manifest themselves

Obviously hasn’t visited 4chan recently…

Havvy October 17, 2009 at 5:34 am

You could have expanded this, by maybe a paragraph or two, and explained the situation in which government interferes, not only creating monopolies, but in lowering creativity, and possibly harming citizens. I am talking about a move by the South Korea while the SSL draft was being written. Instead of wait for it to be built, the government created their own version using ActiveX. In the short term, South Korea prospered. They had SSL before everybody else, and could do banking activities safely without worry. Then, after everybody had SSL, other browsers than Internet Explorer became viable for usage, but since ActiveX is a propriety Microsoft addon to Internet Explorer, nobody else could use the other browsers. They were stuck with IE6. IE6 only works on Windows, so they could not use other operating systems such as Mac or Linux. Because of this, over 99% of South Korean web traffic comes from IE, and it is either over 40% or 60%, I cannot recall now, still use IE6, even though there is IE7, and IE8 is due to be released. For comparison, in the rest of the world, about 25% of people use IE6, and that number is dwindling slowly. IE itself is bug ridden, and IE6, not being updated anymore, contains security vulnerabilities that were fixed in IE7. Because the government thought that it would be more useful for people to be able to use SSL for banking now instead of wait, usability, security, and choice are taken away. Such an event has not happened without government intervention on the internet.

Michael Wilson October 17, 2009 at 10:02 am

“One of the few places in the world not yet plagued by government intervention is the internet.”

This wouldn’t be the same Internet developed by the US government (under the name ARPANET), would it? Naah–clearly no connection.

I expect the writer’s next article to trumpet the free market’s creation of the GPS.

JAN October 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm

A comment to Michael Wilson’s posting on October 17, 2009 10:02 AM

Michael wrote: “This wouldn’t be the same Internet developed by the US government (under the name ARPANET), would it? (…) I expect the writer’s next article to trumpet the free market’s creation of the GPS.”

The comment: No doubt both the Internet and the GPS were developed in military contexts (the first one in many ways allegedly ‘thanks’ to the Soviet Sputnik launch). But the point is (1) that probably only in the environment of a largely free market economy could both of them be developed and continually improved, and, above all, (2) only in such competitive environment could both be made accessible, useful and user-friendly to practically everybody outside the military sphere. Had Internet and the GPS been developed in the former Soviet Union, there is not the slightest doubt that both would have been considered top military secrets, and barred from the public use to the very end of the Soviet empire.

In this perspective, the GPS in my car is indeed a free market creation.

anon October 17, 2009 at 11:42 pm

“In fact, it’s such a free market that government doesn’t even effectively enforce intellectual property and copyright protection. And what is the result? We see entrepreneurs from other countries imitating successful online programs with very little detriment to the originators. In fact, Chinese entrepreneurs have created very similar programs to both Google and Facebook. As a result, all of these companies have been able to generate profits while their users still enjoy the programs at no cost.

In turn, their Chinese competitors bring increased competition to both Google and Facebook, creating incentives for them to improve their own products and continue to innovate. This example closely resembles capitalist Americans emulating European technology in the 19th century or Japanese entrepreneurs emulating Western technology during the process of their development.”

I take issue with this observations.

The Chinese blatantly copy everything churned out by Western innovators – right down to the naming itself (e.g. “Baidu” is actually derived from Google).

And as if the language barrier wasn’t enough for Western developers to penetrate the huge Chinese market, the Chinese government also severely limits – even downright banning – Western developers from having a Chinese presence. So domestic companies are sheltered by government and have come to dominate the domestic market in China. This gives them a gigantic war chest to compete with Western developers – so it’s a titled playing-field.

Pavle Ivanov October 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

Capitalist: My thoughts precisely, hahaha. On the other hand I’d rather have the freedom to go to 12chan, or such like, than not be able to go to it…there’s a beauty to the discretion after visiting of such sites.

Les October 19, 2009 at 1:03 am

Lets not forget the blocking of Youtube, Facebook and Twitter by the Chinese government.

Also, does anyone expect an increase in censorship of the web if/when Rockefeller’s bill for granting the president the authority to shut down the internet for “security” concerns. That reason could be used for almost any reason to close the internet. I am interested in hearing your comments on this one.

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